Saturday, April 29, 2006

In a pickle

A few weeks back, my boss announced he would be conducting evaluations with all the staff. He called them 'half yearly' evaluations, which got a snicker out of the veterans at work, since the last one I remember happened two years ago. I only worried about it briefly, because I figured he wouldn't get around to actually doing them for months. I figured wrong. I'm slated to see him next week.

The timing doesn't suit me all too well, but I didn't have an excuse handy to stall. My next doctors appointment is still a full week away, and only then will I get a better idea of how many monitoring appointments there might be during the upcoming cycles and if they'll be during work hours or not.

Basically, I'm wondering if this is the time to come out of the closet at work. Entirely out, a little or not at all?
A couple of scenario's are churning in my head.

* I don't say anything, no-one notices that some of my absences are non-work related, even though it says 'private appointment' in my electronic diary, in stead of work-related meetings etc. Ask me no questions, tell you no lies. Just to be clear, I'm not supposed to use vacation time for medical appointments, it counts as sick leave.
This is how it has been up to now. When someone did ask (rarely), I fobbed them off by saying 'doctors appointment, nothing serious, always a different ailment, blah blah,..' Of course, things are going to get much more involved from now on. One appointment per cycle isn't going to cut it, I assume.

* I don't say anything, someone does notice the rather frequent 'private appointments' and starts to think up all sorts of things. Like:
- I'm absconding to do shopping (yeah right, wardrobe stays drab as ever)
- I'm absconding to go to interviews for a new job
- I'm absconding to see a doctor for a dreadful illness
- all of the above
This would be very bad.

* I tell my boss I will be having a number of doctor's appointments in the upcoming months. I keep quiet regarding the reason, but reassure him he doesn't have to worry, "not life-threatening, chronic illness, treatment to ensure high quality of my life, blah blah blah".

* I tell my boss I'm 'unvoluntarily childless' and seeking treatment to change that. I ask that he respects my privacy, meaning that he doesn't tell a certain Co-worker with whom he shares more than just the office (all above board, nothing sordid, but still a delicate situation at times).

I'm strongly leaning towards scenario three. I have many reasons for not wanting to come out completely.
Though I don't think my boss would violate confidentiality willingly, I do think it might slip out. Especially if said Co-worker, his partner, starts asking him questions. Just my luck that she would be the first who might notice something is up, as she's in charge the day-to-day planning. So why not bring her in to the loop and swear her to confidence? Well, she a well-meaning person, but couldn't keep a secret if her life depended on it.
The last thing I want is to be the topic of hushed conversation at work. I don't want to spend my time educating my colleagues. I don't want to dodge thinly-veiled questions about how the treatment is going.
And I don't want to face the gloating smirk on the face of The Moron(R) when he finds there is finally something at which he excels, after all he is a CHOSEN one, a father not once but twice over. I'm sure he'd be perfectly happy to remind me that they had to try 6 months for #2.

I've been trying very hard to not think about IF when I step into my office. Some days are better than others and often I feel I'm just keeping up appearances. If word gets out, it will only be harder.
The risk of scenario three is that my boss starts guessing what horrible affliction I could have, and draws the wrong conclusions. I don't think IF will spring to mind. I do know - from said Co-worker - that he knows all too well what a ravishing grip illness can have on a person's life (a relative of his). You see where I get the idea that she doesn't know when to stop sharing.
Perhaps I should have more faith in my boss, especially because he has experience with such matters. But once told, there is no untelling, and I know some of you have regretted telling some person or other. It's a gamble either way.

EJW, over at Wiscadoo, is also wondering what to tell her new boss.

Does this post count as one weird thing about me? I was tagged, to my surprise, for the 6 weird facts meme by Squarepeg.
Still thinking about 5 others.

As far as the rest cycle is concerned, it's going well enough. No temping or cm-checking. I'm sampling my way through our bar. I'm still addicted to blogreading. I'm not succeeding very well in forgetting IF and thinking of work first. Oh well.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

A rest cycle

Another CD1 has arrived, as I was expecting. I'm so glad I managed to see the new doc and get a new plan of action before the previous plan expired completely. Now I have so much to look 'forward' to.

As this is supposed to be a rest cycle, rest is what I'll do. I'm not going to bother taking the vitamins. I'm not going to temp for a while. I'm going to try to stop fretting about what on earth I'm going to tell my co-workers to cover up for my mysterious absences while cycling. I can do that when I find out how many monitoring appointments there will be.

I'm also going to keep a low profile in the blogosphere for a while. (Not that I've been a high flyer before, but that's not the point.) The next weeks may be quiet around here, please feel free to peruse my blog roll.
I may hide the 'PG after IF'
section temporarily. This is a section I feel I need to either manage diligently or else not publish. You can still see my entire list on Bloglines.
Low profile may also mean less reading of blogs. I really need to concentrate on work for a while, this seems like a good time to try.

To be honest, these are my good resolutions. Who knows how long they'll last.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

So, how did it go?

The appointment yesterday went very well, except for one little hitch. Somehow, my file hadn't made it from dr. Sunshine's desk to dr. A' desk. I was not amused. Good thing I brought the few notes I had made when I first saw her.

So we spent 10 minutes going through our medical history, irregular cycles, 6 rounds of Clo.mid with good response but no results, satisfactory SA, ...

The plan is simple:
3 to 4 stimulation cycles (Menopur) with IUI.

After that there is the next phase of treatment, the name of which shall remain unspoken till the time is ripe. Cue ominous roll of thunder and flash of lightning.

I asked him about stim cycles without IUI, but he advised against it because we have been trying so long already (2 and 1/4 years). He thinks we're probably both subfertile, so working at it from both ends makes most sense. The sperm washing technique they use would select only the most motile sperm, which is a big improvement over simple sperm washing.

Subfertile means he thinks if we tried long enough on our own, we would eventually conceive, but he didn't suggest this as a route to go, thankfully.

Based on my irregular cycles and my weight (I consider myself slightly overweight) he suspects I may have some tendancies towards PCOS. He's going to check whether I have insulin resistance. If I do lean towards PCOS, I may not respond at all if the stim dose is too low, or I may overrespond to the stims if it is too high. The problem is those two limits may be rather close together. Probably, the good response to Clo.mid is a good sign, though nothing is guaranteed.

IUI poses a larger risk of multiples than IVF, so I asked about that. He was confident that he could manage that risk sufficiently. Zero risk is impossible of course. If I overrespond in a cycle he can puncture some follicles to reduce the number, or I could decide to cancel.

I didn't ask straight out about a referral to a psychologist, but as I was doing some last minute research the night before, I read that the Big Fertility Clinic has an on staff fertility counselor. Not only that, they organize relaxation classes*!
Dr. A' practice is a 'satellite' for the Big Fertility Clinic, which is located in another town. This means I can join their relaxation classes and get a consult with their counselor.

The detailed plan for the coming weeks is:
- wait for period (due next weekend)
- then make appointment to receive stim schedule (yeah right, I already booked an appointment)
- wait for period again
- start first IUI/inj cycle

The doc wants me to sit one out to make sure all the Clo.mid is out of my system, because it builds up over time. I'm a tiny bit suspicious of this argument, but making a fresh start sounds reasonable enough. I dislike waiting, but I know I've really seen nothing yet.

DH was his usual quiet self all through the appointment. ART is going to become more burdensome for him than before. I told him he might have to administer the shots, he doesn't like the sound of that (uh, well, at least he doesn't have to get them). I teased him that from now on all s.ex will be recreational, ergo we don't need to have any anymore. Not to his liking either. :-)

I know none of you will even hint that I might get PG on my own now, just in the nick of time. It can't happen. I have unopened bottles of never-before-tasted Abs0lut Vodka (raspberry and peach), a new bottle of excellent rum, and a wide selection of specialty beers waiting for me. You see, getting PG between treatments would just ruin my pity party on so many levels. :-)

* I guess this would be called a Mind/Body program in the U.S./Canada, but here people tend to call a spade a spade. ;-)


Sunday, April 02, 2006

On the first date?

Another week to go until my first appointement with dr. A.

One thing I've considered asking him is whether he knows any good psychologists/psychiatrist that have experience in treating IF patients.

A friend of mine (someone with ample IF experience of her own) thinks this isn't a good idea to bring this up at the first meeting. The doctor might get the impression I'm mentally teetering over the edge, while the serious treatments have yet to start.

The thought had crossed my mind, but I don't see it that way. I have a headache, I take an aspirine. I'm IF, I seek treatment from an RE. IF comes with tough emotions to tackle, so wouldn't it make sense to seek help there too? Isn't that a balanced and responsible thing to do?

Having a therapist is fairly uncommon here. Telling people you see one is even more uncommon. Seeking psychiatric help is for serious cases, that seems to be the common understanding anyway.

Now, I bet I'll be seeing a lot of dr. A in the coming months, so I can wait until later to bring up this particular question. Besides, I wouldn't want to distract him from priority #1: the PLAN.

Back to twiddling my thumbs.

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